The next time you find yourself frustrated with the way a friend or loved one is speaking or treating you, the first step is to take accountability for your lack of boundaries. I know it’s a tough one to swallow, but people treat us how we allow them to. You have the right to set personal boundaries, here’s how to get started.
Give Yourself Permission
You have the right to set boundaries. If someone has raised their voice or is speaking disrespectfully to you, you have the right to let them know that you don’t allow people to talk to you in that manner. This is not necessarily in regards to the occasional argument that as humans we will all find ourselves in the middle of, but the consistent behaviors that in some way violate or disrespect you.
Address Things In The Moment
Unless a situation is extremely volatile, address things at the moment. If someone is asking intrusive questions or making comments that feel judgmental, you have the right to say that it is none of their business or that you don’t appreciate being judged. The key is to remain calm and non-aggressive. I once had a landlord inappropriately inquiring about my dating life, and I calmly stated something along the lines of as my landlord I don’t see how that concerns you. Enough said, he stopped asking.
Be Prepared To Lose Some Connections
When you set a boundary with someone with whom you have a long-standing unhealthy pattern with, expect one of two things. They will either immediately respect your boundary, or they will push back. For those who push back, they may adjust after the initial shock—but you (or they) may realize that the relationship is no longer a good fit.
The best thing you can do is to set boundaries from the beginning. When you do this, you will attract healthy relationships, and find that individuals with unhealthy patterns treat you differently.